Life in the Fishbowl

Living by the Todd Family Motto: "It behooves us to live."

Life in the Fishbowl - Living by the Todd Family Motto: "It behooves us to live."

These Cookie Crisp Asteroid Treats are out of this world!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FoodAwakens #CollectiveBias

Cookie Crisp Asteroid Treats #FoodAwakens

The Star Wars™ franchise evokes some pretty strong emotions for me. One of the first movies I remember watching in the theaters was one of the films in the original trilogy. I remember the drama, the flashing lights, the roar of the giant spaceships, the funky aliens, and the intense battles on other worlds. The larger than life story that unfolded on the big screen captivated me in a way that no other film has ever come close.

I was already a big fan. I loved the Star Wars™ toys. I would play for hours with my neighborhood friends. One of my favorite things to do was to turn the space under our kitchen  table into a huge base for the good guys. It was safe in there. And we could plot the final push against the tyrannical forces of evil.

A perfect base #FoodAwakens

I think it’s safe to say that the kitchen table was the perfect base for the good guys. It could serve as an ice cave, protecting them from the harsh elements of a frozen planet. Or it could easily convert to a giant spaceship, headed to meet the enemy head-on. Or it could also become a base in some forested terrain with giant trees that provide a canopy of protection over the heroes as they hide from their foes.

While growing up, the perfect morning for me would have begun with an hour or two underneath the kitchen table, preparing my base for battle. Then I’d probably listen to the Star Wars™ storybook on my little record player in my room. Then the galactic battles would begin and I’d play with my Star Wars™ toys for the rest of the day. Or maybe my friends and I would go outside and re-enact one of the climactic battles outside. I would only slow down in time to eat some breakfast. For breakfast of choice? Why, Cookie Crisp, of course. Finding a toy inside the cereal box would have been the proverbial icing on the proverbial cake.

Free toy in Cookie Crisp #FoodAwakens

This is an exciting time for our family. Like many dads who grew up on a steady diet of Star Wars™ films, books, costumes, toys, and Saturday morning cartoons, I faithfully did my duty and raised my kids to be fans of the same cinematic universe. So we’re all counting down the days until the release of the next chapter in the saga.

Like father, like son. And daughters.

I think our oldest was a different Star Wars™ character for at least five Halloweens in a row. I’m also pretty sure he was the same character more than once. He takes after his Dad in that respect. I’m pretty sure I was a different Star Wars™ character for almost every Halloween while in elementary school. That streak was broken when I was a clown in fourth grade.

My heart swelled with pride when, out of the blue, our then-youngest child was sitting in the back seat of my car with the soundtrack from the films blaring over the speakers. She could tell me exactly which film and the scene the piece of music was from.

Even our youngest, who hasn’t seen the films yet, recognizes the characters and knows that the story is a big deal in our house.

Gearing up for Opening Night.

For years, I had planned on camping out in the parking lot of a nearby movie theater with my kids in anticipation of the release of the new film. I remember watching news footage of fans sleeping on the sidewalk so they could be the first to see the next installment of the Star Wars™ story. That was more than thirty years ago and that image has stuck with me. When I was a kid, I thought it was a pretty neat idea. Those must’ve been some pretty dedicated fans. Although I’ve sworn off attending midnight showings, I was willing to break that rule one time. I mean, it’s Star Wars™, after all!

Due to a variety of reasons, including the unpredictable weather in December, I decided that it would be unwise to sleep outside the theater before Opening Night. But we’re still dedicated fans. And I want to do something memorable with my kids to celebrate the return of the Star Wars™ cinematic universe. So I’m planning a Star Wars™ marathon at our house. Over the course of the next few weeks,we’ll be watching the past films, gearing up for the Big Night when the story returns to the big screen.

Cookie Crisp and GoGurt #FoodAwakens

As I get older, the magic of Star Wars™ reminds me of a simpler time when I had few cares other than what I was going to play that day. It evokes similar memories in my older kids, too. Since the films have been such a big part of our collective childhood stories, it makes sense to include snacks that remind us of the simpler days of being a kid. Of course, we’ll have popcorn and soft drinks. But I’m going to make this marathon a little more memorable.

In order to prepare for this series of movie nights at our house, I went to our nearby Walmart to stock up on some goodies. I in the yogurt section, I found some specially marked GoGurt. Because what’s better than watching your favorite movies than watching them with your favorite characters from those movies?

Store Collage #FoodAwakens

I also swung by the cereal aisle and grabbed a box of Cookie Crisp.I have a great idea for a snack that’s out of this world.

Because Cookie Crisp is such a childhood favorite of ours, it only makes sense to include it in our movie watching experience. It’ll be like a celebration of all the things that make being a kid so awesome. So I created the perfect snack for our viewing pleasure:

Cookie Crisp Asteroid Treats.

Cookie Crisp Asteroid Treats on a plate #FoodAwakens

This recipe is simple. It’s tasty. And final product kind of looks like chunks of asteroids. And they look like an even larger asteroid when you stack them all together!

So you can let your imagination run wild as you’re eating these while watching an intergalactic battle unfold.

Here’s the basic information:

Cookie Crisp Asteroid Treats

Total time: 55 minutes
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Cooling time: 45 minutes

Serving size: approximately 1 inch by 2 inches

3 Tablespoons of butter
1 10 oz. bag of giant marshmallows
6 cups of Cookie Crisp cereal

Cookie Crisp Asteroid Treats Ingredients #FoodAwakens

What to do:

  1. Spray a 9×13 inch pan and a large spoon with nonstick spray.
  2. Divide Cookie Crisp into 5 1/2 cups and 1/2 cups.
  3. Combine butter and marshmallows in large microwave safe bowl.
  4. Microwave butter and marshmallows on high for 2 minutes.
    **Make sure the mixture doesn’t overflow while you’re cooking it.**
  5. Seal the 1/2 cups of Cookie Crisp into a plastic bag.
  6. Crush the Cookie Crisp in the bag.
  7. Stir the butter and marshmallow mix with the large spoon that was coated with nonstick spray.
  8. Microwave butter and marshmallows on high for 1 minute.
  9. Stir butter and marshmallows until blended
  10. Mix crushed Cookie Crisp into the butter and marshmallows.
  11. Add remaining Cookie Crisp.
  12. Mix ingredients until the cereal is evenly coated.
  13. Transfer mixture into 9×13 inch pan.
  14. Press mixture into the pan.
  15. Allow to cool for approximately 45 minutes.
  16. Cut into 1 inch squares.
    Since these are asteroids, they don’t really have to be symmetrical. You can make them any shape you want!
  17. Eat and enjoy!

These Cookie Crisp Asteroid Treats are gooey and crispy all at the same time. They quickly became a fan favorite in our house when I made them for the first time.

Cookie Crisp Asteroid Treats #FoodAwakens

We all know that traveling through an asteroid belt can be quite dangerous. This treat makes the trip worth it! They’re out of this world!

What about you? What are your plans to celebrate the return of history’s greatest film franchise? Click here to discover some more great ideas.

Have you bought your Star Wars: The Force Awakens tickets yet?

**This post contains affiliate links. I hope you don’t think this makes me a slimy piece of worm-ridden filth. Or a slimy, double-crossing, no-good swindler. Or a stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf-herder. **

OK. I’m geeking out here. So I’ve naturally started using Star Wars quotes. I hope you understand because the odds of me not making Star Wars references are approximately 3,720:1.

Star Wars - Premiere Sweepstakes

The floodgates have been opened. Now you can purchase Star Wars: The Force Awakens tickets for the opening weekend. And the final trailer has been released for the entire galaxy to see. It’s almost as if millions of voices suddenly cried out (in excitement this time). We should probably close the blast doors before things get too out of hand. Because people are excited. I know Red Leader is.This is it - Star Wars: The Force Awakens tickets are available now!

It feels like we’ve waited over a thousand generations for the saga to finally continue. And now? It’s just moments away.

I have my thoughts about what might happen in Episode VII. But honestly? I’m going to keep them to myself. That’s primarily because I’m scared that someone’s going to come on my page and say “You’re wrong because we know this, this, this, and this.” And I’m trying to avoid any and all spoilers. Remember? 

I realize the chances of survival are 775…to one. But that’s OK. If Luke and Han can successfully make it through the night on Hoth, I should be able to make it to the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens without encountering any major spoilers.


If you’re like me, this trailer makes you ready to jump up and buy your tickets right now. Have you done it yet? Have you bought your Star Wars: The Force Awakens tickets? If not – why not? What are you waiting for? In the interest of full-disclosure, I haven’t bought mine yet. But there’s a good reason. And I might explain it later in another post. Then again, I might not. That probably makes me a scoundrel, doesn’t it?


Scoundrel….I like the sound of that…

Star Wars Movie Tickets

If you have bought your tickets, go ahead and take a moment and brag about your purchase in the comments section. We’ll celebrate with you. Just so long as you don’t get cocky.

I promise. It’s not a trap.

Did you catch all the Star Wars references I threw in there? How many did you count?

Star Wars tickets available today! This will be a day long remembered.

**This post contains affiliate links. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.**
Star Wars The Force Awakens posterIt’s here! It’s here! It’s finally here! In the words of Lord Vader himself:

This will be a day long remembered

Not only is the final full trailer to Star Wars: The Force Awakens going to debut at halftime during tonight’s Monday Night Football broadcast, but you can buy tickets to the movie itself! 

Star Wars Movie Tickets

According to, there’s a pretty nifty little perk that’s available if you pre-purchase your Star Wars tickets through Fandango:

On Fandango, Star Wars: The Force Awakens ticket buyers will be entered into a sweepstakes for the chance to win a trip to the film’s world premiere. Moviegoers who purchase tickets within the first 24 hours can increase their chances to win. Additionally, ten runners-up can win a collectible “Dark Side” or “Light Side” prize pack.

Pretty cool. Right?

And if that’s not enough, here’s a little teaser for you:

Oh, why not watch another one, too?

Hurry up, December! I can’t wait for Star Wars to get here!

Star Wars spoilers and a new The Force Awakens trailer (with footnotes)

Star Wars The Force Awakens - no spoilers

A long time ago…

Back when they did the Star Wars Special Edition releases in 1997, I became a big fan of the website that was known as Red 5. The site leaked all kinds of information about the changes that were expected. I’m sure I visited that site several times a day in anticipation of this re-release. I’m a bit ashamed to admit it, but when the movies were finally released, I almost felt a little bit of Star Wars fatigue.

I know. That’s borderline blasphemy.

But it’s true. And I think some of it had to do with the fact that I was following all of the leaked information so closely in the months and weeks leading up to the release.

Fast-forward to Episode I.

I pretty much knew the whole story before the movie was released, thanks to leaks, the song listing on the Phantom Menace soundtrack, and Weird Al Yankovic.

So I left the movie feeling…underwhelmed. While I know the film could never live up to the hype generated by the 16 year buildup of anticipation between Return of the Jedi and The Phantom Menace, the movie itself falls pretty flat (no, this isn’t a reference to the 3D re-release. I almost kind of liked that one, oddly enough). I’m convinced that part of my initial lackluster response to Episode I had a little bit to do with having been inundated with spoilers during the time leading up to the film’s release.

Don’t get me wrong. Episode I was awful. It’s still awful. But it was made even more awful-er because of the spoilers.

Yep. The spoilers spoiled the movie. That’s why they’re called spoilers.

No more spoilers.

Continue reading

A tale of two Star Wars Days

I’m about to get my geek on. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

A Star Wars Day Hipster

I remember making a “May the 4th” reference several years ago. I think I might have still been in grad school at the time. I thought the play on words was fun. So I shared it as an update on a social network – possibly on Myspace, but maybe on Facebook. I don’t remember the specifics and I can’t find the status anywhere, but I remember saying something like “Happy Star Wars Day! May the Fourth be with you! (Yes, it’s corny. Don’t kill the messenger)” And I do know that the earliest reference I can find on this blog is from 2007. Once I learned about this quirky day, I was determined to celebrate it the following year.

And I did.

May the 4th be with you

A few other Star Wars geeks mentioned Star Wars Day. With a wink and a nod, I noticed a few more references to the Day that following year. And the year after that. But there really weren’t very many people making that big of a deal about May 4th. And that was OK. I was kind of used to being a loner when it came to being a fan of Star Wars. But it eventually caught on. So you could say that I liked Star Wars Day back before it was cool.

I guess that makes me some kind of Star Wars Day Hipster.

Jumping on the Bandwagon

When I logged onto facebook on May 4 of this year, I was kind of shocked at what I saw. It seemed like everyone and their brother was posting about May 4th and Star Wars Day. In some ways, it warmed my heart. Continue reading

7 lines I love to quote from Star Wars

One day not too long ago, while Aiden and I were driving home from some event, I had to make a quick stop at a store. Aiden didn’t want to go inside, so I told him he could stay in the car. Since he’s 14 years old, there wasn’t any danger of him getting too hot in the car. I left the car running because it was going to be a quick dash in and out of the store. That way, he could stay cool with the air conditioner on and he could listen to whatever tunes he wanted to hear. I could get in and out without having to wait on him. It was a win-win proposition.

As I stepped out of the car, I turned to Aiden and said one of the lines from Star Wars that I love to quote:

“Lock the door. And hope they don’t have blasters.”

In case you’re unfamiliar with that quote, it’s Luke and Han’s response to C-3PO when he asks what the droids should do if they’re discovered in the Death Star. But you already knew that. Right? Of course you did. If not, I highly recommend watching A New Hope again. After all, it’s my favorite movie. It should be yours, too. Unless The Empire Strikes Back is your favorite. Or Return of the Jedi. Those are great choices, too.

I realized as I walked away from the car that I use that line a lot. In fact, I find myself saying this almost every time I ask one of the kids to lock a door. Then I realized that I use several lines from Star Wars in everyday conversation on a regular basis.

So here they are, in no particular order. Seven lines I love to quote from Star Wars.

7 lines I love to quote from Star Wars Continue reading

A is for Astronaut

A is for Astronaut - A to Z ChallengeThroughout most of my elementary school career, I wanted to be an astronaut. There were a few moments where I wanted to be a lion tamer. But mostly, I wanted to be an astronaut. I never really thought of being a lion taming astronaut. That would’ve been pretty sweet. Can you imagine taming Martian lions? Or what about bears on Venus? Or wrestling Saturn’s tigers?

Interstellar lions. And tigers. And bears.

Oh my.

But seriously, I really wanted to be an astronaut for a long time. I think a large cross-section of my generation had similar aspirations. And it wasn’t just because of Star Wars (although I suspect it might have had something to do with it. Maybe. Or maybe the two worked hand-in-hand. I loved Star Wars and I loved all things space. My love for Star Wars encouraged my love for space exploration. And my love for space exploration encouraged my love for Star Wars. It was a symbiotic relationship.

But then the unthinkable happened.

The Challenger exploded and everything changed. I think my dream, along with the dream of many other elementary school students, died that day. Don’t get me wrong. I have no delusions that I would have actually been able to become an astronaut. My woeful math skills and limited science expertise kind of helped slam that door shut.

But I still think quite a bit about space exploration, space travel, and discovering worlds unknown. I still get chills when I stand in the presence of capsules that have been into space. And yes, I’m still kicking myself for skipping out on the final Space Shuttle landing. On some clear nights, I stand outside and gaze into the sky. The unknown of the Final Frontier gently tugs at me. And I fantasize about visiting a galaxy far, far away.

I still find myself wondering what might have been. What would I have looked like in an astronaut suit?

Astronaut Matt Todd

And there you have it. Pretty impressive. Right?

**I’m participating in the April A to Z Challenge. This post is part of that endeavor. A lot of people are doing the same thing. You should check out some of their posts!**

It’s 2015. Welcome to the Future.

2015 fireworks

This is it. It’s finally the year we find out if any of the 2015 that Marty McFly experienced actually comes true. With Back to the Future Day, The Avengers: Age of Ultron and the awakening of the Force on the big screen, 2015 promises to be a HUGE year for geeks like me who are into such things.

Whether you’re excited about these things or not, I hope 2015 is an amazing year for you, dear reader. I hope that the worst day of this year is better than the best day of 2014. I pray that the Divine reveals Himself to all of us in ways we can’t possibly imagine. Let’s change the world this year.

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26

The Future is NOW. Let’s make 2015 a year for the record books!

Happy New Year!

The Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser is REALLY here!

Well, here it is, kids! After several fan-made versions faked out legions of fans this week (I’m sure Admiral Ackbar is shouting about how it was a trap), the official version of Star Wars: The Force Awakens was released about an hour ago.

I have to admit that I was so excited about the release that I hooked the laptop to our big TV so I could watch it in as close to theatre as possible. I should’ve popped popcorn, but I didn’t. I’ll remember to do that next time, though.

I’m still not happy that they’re releasing the film in December instead of the traditional May (it is Star Wars month, after all), but after seeing this teaser, I’m also not happy that I’ll have to wait a whole ‘nother year before this film’s released!

And that lightsaber seems kind of strange. But I’m sure I’ll grow to love it.